Image for The Bennies Talk Australian Tour And Crowd Surfing Crocodiles

The Bennies Talk Australian Tour And Crowd Surfing Crocodiles

Written by David James Young on June 24, 2016

If there’s ever a drawback to social media, it’s that it becomes a lot more difficult to catch up with people. This is meant in the context of asking personally after what’s been going on with them – if you have them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., chances are you already know in pretty decent detail. Such is the case with Anty Horgan, The Bennies‘ irrepressible lead singer and occasional Casio shredder – not too long before he speaks with Music Feeds, he’s been on Snapchat seeking out some stuff that we might not be able to legally disclose. Hint: Think Toad from the Super Mario franchise. “We got some!” cackles Horgan. “I figure there isn’t any harm in doing it over Snapchat – it’s all gonna be gone tomorrow, anyway!”

We’ve caught the high-flying frontman in a relatively-unusual environment today – not hurtling down the highway to the next show, nor boarding a plane to take The Bennies’ hypercolour genre-hybrid sound to an audience abroad; but at his humble Melbourne home, where the band are taking a much-needed few weeks off. “It has been a bit weird,” says Horgan with a laugh. “It kinda sucks having downtime, to be honest. I much prefer being on tour. Normally, it bums me out a lot more. It’s been kind of nice hanging out at home away from the cold, though. I’ve just been staying in, mostly; playing video games and watching Seinfeld.”

Of course, The Bennies deserve all the hibernation that they can get – after all, it wasn’t too long ago that they were on the other side of the word, playing to audiences all through Europe; including a huge appearance at Belgian festival Groezrock. “We played to so many people,” says Horgan. “We had such a good timeslot, and the crowd was just so up for it. They’d go with whatever it is that we wanted to do. While we were playing, someone in the crowd threw up an inflatable crocodile. It made its way to the front, and everyone got a go riding on it – including me! If that wasn’t enough, that night I got to watch Rancid from side of stage. The whole day was a dream come true.”

The Bennies have played one show since returning to Australia from their extensive European jaunt, which took place at The Big Pineapple music festival on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Alongside artists like You Am I, Hermitude and The Veronicas, the band performed to a packed field of punters. Also on the bill were lifelong friends The Smith Street Band, whose song “Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams” is a tribute to Bennies guitarist “King” Jules Rozenbergs. It proved to be such a special day that Smith Street frontman Wil Wagner got a tattoo outlining a photo of him and Horgan standing together on stage. “That was definitely one of the best weekends we’ve had in a long while,” recalls Horgan fondly. “It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten to go out on the road with those guys. We used to do it quite a lot. Their crew is kind of our crew now, as well. It just feels like one big family, really.”

Next up is a massive nation-wide tour of Australia – a victory lap, of sorts, for March’s Wisdom Machine, The Bennies’ third studio album. Along with the key capital cities, the tour will also take in plenty of new uncharted territory for the quartet – including a long-awaited visit to Nimbin, of all places. “I find it really exciting,” says Horgan when faced with the prospect of diving into a new town or city headfirst. “After the tour we just did overseas, I feel like we can do anything. The Europe tour was definitely the most amount of shows we’ve played in a row. In the past, we’ve been burnt out after five shows in a row – on this tour, some of the stretches had us doing 10. Sometimes 12. It was a massive challenge for all of us. Now that we’ve done that, a show in a new town doesn’t scare me at all. Our confidence has picked up in a big way. I think it’s good that we’ve teamed up with Clowns for this tour, as well. Their schedule’s crazy. They probably tour harder than any band that I know – and that’s including us.”

Indeed, the Melbourne hardcore outfit will serve as main support for The Bennies tour, their cut-throat style of swerving, skittish punk looking to be both a welcome and unique complement and contrast to the headliners. “I’m really interested to see how it all goes,” says Horgan. “They’re pretty different to us, but I think we have a very similar drive and quite a similar audience. We’ve known those guys for a really long time – I actually used to live with their drummer, Jake [Laderman], for awhile back in the day. I really like them all as dudes and I really like them all as people.” Also joining in on the fun will be Perth band Axe Girl, which features Jebediah bassist Vanessa Thornton in the fold. Despite having a solid following over in the west, it will be the first time for many east-coasters to see the band in action – a prospect Horgan is really happy with.

“We met them when we played over in Perth ages ago,” he says. “We liked them straight away – they’re quite kooky and really poppy, and they’re a really interesting band. We’ve always asked them back when we play over that way, and they’ve gotten to come and play Melbourne a few times as well. We get along really well. It’s kind of cool for us to have a band like that play on a bill like this – it’s really mixed, and going from band to band really emphasises that. We’ve never been the kind of band where we ‘suit’ any particular show or crowd, if that makes any sense. I think there’s a bit of that in Clowns and Axe Girl, too. No tour that we do will be with the ‘right’ bands for us, so we may as well play with bands that we like.”

Check out the details for The Bennies’ National Tour below.

The Bennies Wisdom Machine Tour II
with guests Clowns & Axe Girl

Wednesday 22nd June
Club 54, Launceston
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 23rd June
Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 24th June
Max Watts, Melbourne
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 25th June
Pelly Bar Frankston
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday 26th June
Karova Lounge Ballarat
Tickets: Official Website

Wednesday 29th June

Mynt Werribee
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 30th June
Barwon Club, Geelong
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 1st July
The Gov, Adelaide
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 2nd July
Village Green, Mulgrave
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday 3rd July
Music Man, Bendigo
Tickets: Official Website

Wednesday 6th July
Mairners, Batemans Bay
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 7th July
The Basement, Canberra
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 8th July
Wollongong Uni, Wollongong
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 9th July
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday 10th July
Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Tickets: Official Website

Wednesday 13th July
Nimbin Bush Theatre, Nimbin
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 14th July
Miami Tarven, Gold Coast
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 15th July
Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 16th July
The Triffid, Brisbane
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday 17th July
Sol Bar, Maroocydore
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 21st July #
Flinders Social, Townsville
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 22nd July #
The Grand Cairns
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 23rd July #
Railway Club, Darwin
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday 28th July #
Tambrey Tavern, Karratha
Tickets: Official Website

Friday 29th July *
Rosemount, Perth
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday 30th July *
Studio 146, Albany
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday 31st July *
Prince of Wales, Bunbury
Tickets: Official Website

* The Bennies & Axe Girl only
# The Bennies Only

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